Prospect of the Week: April 25, 2013

We continue our Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for their recent contributions on and off the ice.

The Prospect of the Week for April 25 is … Tyler Johnson, C, Syracuse (AHL – USA).

Repeat.

For the second year in a row, a prospect in the Tampa Bay Lightning organization won the AHL’s Most Valuable Player Award as Tyler Johnson of the Syracuse Crunch was given the honor last week. Johnson follows Cory Conacher, last year's winner, as the second Bolt prospect to win the award. Conacher has since moved on to the Ottawa Senators organization via trade.

Johnson was named MVP last Friday, then promptly went out and scored a hat trick and four points that night just to erase any doubts he was the clear winner. He added a goal the next night to finish the week with four goals, one assist, the league MVP award, and our Prospect of the Week award.

Johnson’s former AHL coach, Jon Cooper of the Tampa Bay Lightning, wasn’t surprised “in the slightest” to learn of Johnson’s performance after the award. He said Johnson clearly earned the title as league MVP.

We never asked Cooper his thoughts on Johnson winning the Bolt Prospect of the Week award. He was in a hurry (yeah, that’s it).

A natural center, Johnson finished the AHL regular season with a league-leading 37 goals and 65 points in 62 games. He added three goals and six points in 14 games with the Lightning.

Johnson is expected to compete for a spot with the Lightning this fall, after he and his Crunch teammates are finished with their playoff run this spring. They open this week against Portland in Round 1. The Lightning organization is hoping for a repeat of an AHL championship, too.

We rank Johnson No. 2 among Bolt prospects. We feel he is good at the hockey.

Previous 2012-2013 Prospect of the Week winners:

April 17, Nikita Kucherov, RW, Rouyn-Noranda, QMJHL-Canada
April 10, Cedric Paquette, C, Blainville-Boisbriand, QMJHL-Canada
April 3, Matthew Peca, W, Quinnipiac, NCAA-USA
March 25, Tyler Johnson, C, Tampa Bay, NHL-USA
March 19, Dylan Blujus, D, Brampton, OHL-Canada
March 12, Radko Gudas, D, Tampa Bay, NHL-USA
March 4, Ondrej Palat, W, Syracuse, AHL-USA
February 25, Ondrej Palat, W, Syracuse, AHL-USA
February 19, Nikita Kucherov, W, Rouyn-Noranda, QMJHL-Canada
February 12, Alex Killorn, C/W, Tampa Bay, NHL-USA
February 5, Cory Conacher, W, Tampa Bay, NHL-USA
January 30, Nikita Kucherov, W, Rouyn-Noranda, QMJHL-Canada
January 23, Cory Conacher, W, Tampa Bay, NHL-USA
January 15, Artem Sergeev, D, Val-d’Or, QMJHL-Canada
World Juniors break
December 17, Alex Killorn, C/W, Syracuse, AHL-Canada
December 10, Nikita Kucherov, RW, Rouyn-Noranda, QMJHL-Canada
December 3, Cedric Paquette, C, Blainville-Boisbriand, QMJHL-Canada
November 25, Tyler Johnson, C, Syracuse, AHL-USA
November 20, Richard Panik, W, Syracuse, AHL-USA
November 12, Alex Hutchings, W, Florida, ECHL-USA
November 5, Nikita Kucherov, W, Quebec, QMJHL-Canada
October 30, Slater Koekkoek, D, Peterborough, OHL-Canada
October 23, Dustin Tokarski, G, Syracuse, AHL-USA
October 15, Cory Conacher, W, Syracuse, AHL-USA
October 9, Cedric Paquette, C, Blainville-Boisbriand, QMJHL-Canada
October 2, Andrei Vasilevskiy, G, Ufa Jr, MHL-Russia
September 25, Andrei Vasilevskiy, G, Ufa Jr, MHL-Russia